Dr. Gerardo Chowell, a mathematical epidemiologist at Georgia State University School of Public Health, is producing daily 10-day forecasts of the cumulative number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in China. Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, is the capital city in the province of Hubei.
Dr. Chowell’s initial forecast shows that the trajectory of the coronavirus outbreak in Hubei is following an exponential growth trend, while the outbreak in other provinces in China is growing following a sub-exponential growth profile. Learn more about what researchers at the School of Public Health are doing to monitor the outbreak.
1. What is a coronavirus and what are its origins?
This is a new virus that’s actually part of a large family of viruses known as coronaviruses. The new virus, known as 2019-nCoV, has been traced back to Wuhan, China, the capital of the Hubei province. A significant number of the early cases were in people who had visited a wet market in Wuhan, where animals for consumption are sold, suggesting that the virus jumped to humans from an animal source. Subsequently, many cases have resulted from person-to-person transmission, indicating that the virus is able to spread efficiently among humans.
2. How is the coronavirus similar to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus and how do you predict it could spread in the United States?
This new coronavirus is about 90 percent genetically similar to SARS-CoV, which is also part of the coronavirus family and generated outbreaks in several parts of the world in 2003. However, 2019-nCoV appears to be less severe.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on February 21